Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Robert Buchar, an associate professor and author of the Cinematography Program at Columbia College in Chicago. A political refugee from former Czechoslovakia, he is the producer of the documentary, Velvet Hangover, which is about Czech New Wave filmmakers, how they survived the period of “normalization” and their reflections on the so-called Velvet Revolution of 1989. He is also the author of Czech New Wave Filmmakers in Interviews and And Reality be Damned… Undoing America: What The Media Didn’t Tell You About the End of the Cold War and Fall of Communism in Europe. He just currently finished the new feature length documentary film, The Collapse of Communism: The Untold Story.
FP: Robert Buchar, welcome to Frontpage Interview. Congratulations on your new documentary film.
Buchar: Thank you Jamie for the opportunity to talk about it. It took eight years to finish but it’s finally done.
FP: Let us begin with this question: Why should we talk about the fall of communism? Why does it matter?
Buchar: Right, why talk about something that happened some 23 years ago? The word communism is even in our vocabulary anymore and the new generation has no idea what it even means.
And yet, communism eliminated over 100 million people during seventy years of its existence. That’s enough bodies to cover the equator of our planet when placing bodies side by side. When communism ‘collapsed’ in 1989, the media never raised the question of where those responsible for all the atrocities were. We didn’t hear anyone in the media asking where all the communists disappeared to.
Should we really believe that millions of communists just became overnight capitalists and good citizens? Surprise! They turned out to become leaders of the new system. It doesn’t matter what political party in the former Soviet satellite countries you are looking at, left or right, they all were created and are run by former communists.
So communism didn’t really disappear, it didn’t go away. It just adapted, morphed into the new system in order to survive and to continue on its mission.
As a result, the West now has to live with the consequences of its own naiveté. And we don’t have to go to too far to see what I am talking about. Just look what is going on in America.
FP: So did the Cold War really end? Who won?
Buchar: It depends who you ask. According to some people on the left, the Cold War never existed. They believe it was just our own propaganda. Conservatives believe they won the Cold War and unfortunately they will never accept the perestroika deception for one simple reason—they would have to give up the credit for the victory they proclaimed and acknowledge they were wrong.
There are really very few people in America who believe that the West lost the Cold War. But how will you then explain that after the ‘fall of communism’ that socialism is on the rise around the globe? The international terrorism, seeded and supported by KGB, almost ceased to exist after the disintegration of the Soviet Union but then in 1996 it exploded again in the new form of Islamic terror and the anti-Americanism became peoples’ favored pastime everywhere you look.
While the West declared the victory and the end of Cold War, the struggle with Moscow’s deception machine didn’t end. On the contrary, it intensified. Chekists are still in charge. The West did exactly what KGB strategists anticipated: it lowered its guard, eliminated the counter intelligence, landed Russia millions of dollars and accepted them as equal partners. It doesn’t hurt to remind you that the CIA Chief for the Soviet block countries at that time was Aldrich Aims and all our spies in Moscow were executed with the exception of one, Oleg Gordievsky. He was the British agent and he talks about it all of this in my film.
Also, keep in mind how the person in charge of supplying millions of dollars to Russia that disappeared in a magic black hole, Marc Rich, was pardoned in the last minute by President Bill Clinton. He is now living who knows where. The CIA and MI6 officials both agree that KGB/FSB spying now is higher than ever.
So it doesn’t matter how we call it—the continuing Cold War, Cold War 2—the Chekists quest for the world domination goes on. And it will go on as long as Chekists will be in charge in Kremlin.
FP: What do the American people know about the current political system and economy in the former Soviet satellites countries? Why they should know and care?
Buchar: American people know very little or nothing about this. They are busy shopping and entertaining themselves. They have no idea about foreign forces shaping their lives. And if you mention it to them they look at you with disbelief.
When I finished the manuscript of my book And Reality be Damned… I handed it to my colleague in Chicago to get a feedback. His response was: “To accept what’s in your book I would have to give up everything I believed all my life.”
Americans don’t like to hear a bad news and as a result they will get hit hard. There is a saying “You will know what you had only after you lose it.” But in this case it may be too late. There is too much in stake. People can’t put current events in context because they are ignore history and thus can’t learn from it.
Back in 2005, I wanted to interview for my film comrade Rudolf Hegenbart. He was one of the Czech Communist Party Politburo officials, chief of Department 13, in charge of overseeing the transformation, including supervising dissidents. He declined my request because after Vaclav Havel became the President, he was warned by Havel’s people that if he would ever talk he will end up in the bag on the bottom of Slapy dam.
Anyway, after I published my book, he wrote me the letter saying: “Your book is historically important. Your information is correct. We were lectured about all that stuff when I studied in Moscow.” But when you tell Americans that the quest to destroy the capitalist America started in 1922 shortly after the Comintern was established in Moscow they think you should see psychiatrist.
FP: One would think that Marxism/socialism would be discredited by now, after all of the pathetic failure, carnage, genocide and misery they have called. And yet, they are on the rise now. Tell us how and why.
Buchar: Very good question. It is something that has bothered me for a long time. One college student in my film says: “I think that if communism is done right, it could work.”
The idea of communism/socialism always was and still is attractive to purely educated and economically disadvantaged masses. People love nice dreams. There is an old communist propaganda slogan: “Everybody will get what they need.” I remember we were taught at school that under communism, cars will be parked everywhere in streets and if you will need one to drive, you will just pick one.
There is that never-ending propaganda/deception. The goal is not exactly to install socialism, but to disturb and destroy western democracy, specifically in America. The Communist Manifesto still sells very well on Amazon. Nikita Khrushchev said to Vice President Richard Nixon back in 1959:
“You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.”
And here we are getting pretty close to that point. The biggest problem as I see it is that the left has the clear goal, the long term strategy, and it has a well established network around the globe. They are well organized, disciplined and devoted to achieve their goal under any circumstances. Conservatives, on the other hand, have no goal or strategy.
They are more individual-oriented. Blinded by political correctness, they can hardly agree on what their enemy is and because of that they can never come up with a successful counter-strategy.
The only way out of this magic circle is education; to show people what they can’t find in mainstream media and are not told at schools. And we are talking about information that is by no means classified. When you ask anyone today about the Venona intercepts, Solo files, Soviet Comintern and so on, they have no clue, never heard of it. When I started shooting my documentary, there was no interest about this topic at all.
Since I published my book And Reality be Damned… a bunch of very interesting books came out. There is Paul Kengor’s The Communist, Pavel Stroylov’s Allegations, or yours High Noon for America: The Coming Showdown -- just to name a few. When you look at the history, democracy is very young and fragile. It has to be carefully maintained and it can’t successfully function in an uneducated, confused society. Once people start to cast their vote based on a feeling, personal appearance of the candidate, his race or religious beliefs, the whole nation will become just one dysfunctional family—a perfect brewing condition for pushing the idea of socialism or other form of dictatorship on them.
By the way, to install socialism doesn’t require the majority to make it happen. Revolutions are usually started and run by a strongly committed minority and pathetic or manipulated masses just help it happen.
FP: Why do you think Western intelligence and governments can’t grasp the concept of disinformation?
Buchar: Deception is an alien concept for the Western culture. Joseph Douglass and Bill Gertz talk about this issue in my film. According to them our intelligence establishment had a very primitive, even wrong understanding of what deception represents. Only with the deception of Anatoliy Golitsyn did they get an opportunity to see the whole picture, but they blew it anyway. They refused to accept information he presented to them.
Bill Gertz talks about the anti-anti-communist mindset of the CIA. Pete Bagley told me that only after the Cold War ended did he realize that all CIA operations in Poland were set up by the KGB to get rid of the opposition. The fact that opposition in communist countries was actually ‘controlled opposition’ is hard to swallow to people living in democracy. When I defected from Czechoslovakia in 1980 I was debriefed twice. First in Austria, and then in the US. I was never asked any question I would consider significant. In 2005, one CIA official asked me how did I enjoy the broadcast of Radio Free Europe.
He was surprised when I told him that this broadcast was heavily jammed and it was impossible to listen to.
The CIA simply had no idea what was going on behind the Iron Curtain. They didn’t pay any attention to ideology and propaganda. They were only interested in military related information. So, because of that, they ‘missed the train.’ Finally, the upcoming book ‘Disinformation’ by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and Ronald Rychlak will bring this extremely important issue to the public. Let’s hope that in the last minute, Americans will realize they were taken for a ride. The train is picking up the speed and we can only hope that we are not on a runaway train already.
FP: Why is it important for people to watch your new film, The Collapse of Communism: The Untold Story?
Buchar: Many Americans today are not happy with the direction their country is heading in. They are wondering why the progressive movement got so strong, moving the country to become another big EU. The history and the growth of the leftist movement in the United States are well documented—even not so much known—but the spread of socialism in the United States is not just an internal issue. To fully understand what is going on in America today we need to know where the conquest to destroy our way of life was seeded, by whom, and what is their strategy.
For five years I have been interviewing intelligence experts, dissidents, defectors and Cold Warriors. What I discovered was an altogether different reality. The United States is heading for trouble and the key to understand it in all its complexity is to learn what really happened in the period 1989 and 1991. As we near the final destination of a so-called New World Order it is very important to realize who planned this journey. Is it possible that political establishment in the West simply doesn’t want to know the truth?
FP: Robert Buchar, thank you for joining us and thank you for making this film and for your dedication to the truth.
We encourage all of our readers to see this new film and to visit collapseofcommunism.com.